Ireland Rejoins IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship After Three Year Absence
DUBLIN, IRELAND - The beautiful emerald isle of Éire will once again be represented at the IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship with the return of Ireland after a three year absence.
Ireland last competed at the 2016 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship held in Six Nations of the Grand River, Haudenosaunee, and finished in fifth (5th) place earning two impressive victories (7-3 and 6-2) over the United States and an overtime win against Iroquois East (7-6 OT). Notable performances for the Irish came from Chris McLaughlin, Matthew Duncan, Ciaron Costello, and Aidan Conlon.
[Photo: 2016 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship, Ireland]
Canada Head Coach Jeff Dowling, who has served as Head Coach of Ireland's Indoor Men's National Team in 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2019 is excited by the prospect for Ireland to identify Irish eligible players earlier in their careers and introduce them to the Irish development program through Team Éire. "The opportunity for young Irish eligible players to play in a championship like the World Juniors is fantastic" said Dowling. "It provides players with a competitive environment to showcase their skills and prepares them for their international careers."
In addition to announcing their inclusion in the 2020 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship, Ireland has also named National indoor team player Luke Coppinger (pictured left) to the coaching staff. Coppinger has represented Ireland twice on the international stage. First at the 2017 ELF European Box Lacrosse Championship in Turku, Finland, where he lead Ireland in scoring and most recently at the 2019 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in Langley, British Columbia, as the second leading scorer with 25 Goals and 21 Assists in 7 Games. "Having Luke step in as Head Coach is an ideal situation." Dowling explains how the World Juniors serves as development ground for coaches as well as players. "Combining Luke's international playing success with his coaching experience; he will be a big help to these players."
ABOUT TEAM ÉIRE
Team Éire has been established as part of an Irish national lacrosse development programme. The Éire team competes in various events and tournaments, some of which are part of the selection process for the Irish national teams. Team Éire also competes regularly in ‘Festival’ tournaments that take place alongside major world championship tournaments. Eligibility for Team Éire is more flexible than for the Irish national team, including heritage, enabling players who do not make the Irish national team, or who may not be eligible, the opportunity to stay connected and contribute to the growth and development of lacrosse in Ireland.